Distress My Heart

I am in LOVE with distressing.  It just seems like you can’t mess up a project with this technique, which works out great for me since I’m an amateur.  I felt possessed yesterday with the sander in my hand working it’s magic on this piece of furniture! Although I’m un-committed to the color (I may paint a different top coat down the road & let the orange distress through) overall I’m satisfied with the transformation! It only took me a couple minutes to beat it up.

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Today as I was cleaning it off before I took some photos I heard this phrase go through my thoughts… “distress my heart.”  I thought of how many of us enjoy the polished, “new” or  perfect path in life, yet there are experiences we face with along the journey that we can’t control.  As a result the path we are on & the life we  live doesn’t look as polished as it does “distressed”,  or  jaded.   The trials each of us face are unique, but no one goes untouched.  There’s a verse in Philippians that says “… He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (chapter 1 v. 6).  Honestly, I’ve felt at times life was giving me a butt whooping and someone took a sander to my heart to distress it.  Am I alone?

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Is it possible though that the abrasiveness of life & the imperfections it leaves, “sands” character in us, contributing to God completing His work in us? I think so.  I’m not big on assuming God has caused the pain, but there’s no denying that He’s allowed it.  And I hope we can, like this trunk, be  more attractive because of it.  I know people who are anyway. Don’t you? Can we escape being a little “beat up” by life?  Not really, but with the help of God, I think we can allow the scraping to make our character & faith more beautiful in spite of it.

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I wasn’t looking for a spiritual allegory when I started the project but was pleased to come across one.  The next time I experience a blow from life I wasn’t expecting I hope I can say honestly to the Lord, “distress my heart” and trust He will be faithful to do that, making the grit worthwhile.

The Trunk Fiasco

I  planned to share my first project via blog this week, and how appropriate, that it seems to be going all wrong. I’ll load the pics & let you in on the obstacles I’m coming across and let you decide…

I picked up this beauty at a furniture re-sale shop downtown.

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You can see it’s got some wear & tear, especially on the buckles, but it’s good wood &  slides open nicely serving quite functionally as a coffee table/ toy box.  I have been pondering for months now what color to paint it (I know, hairsplitting) when I had the epiphany last week that it should be orange.  White would get dirty, and tan (or another neutral) would be too boring.  The color pallet in our den, where it currently resides, is brown, tan and cream…. ick, puke & boring… it needs some POP!  So naturally I snuggled up to orange… specifically: “roasted squash”.

 Am I the only one that gets totally sucked into the names the paint factories put on these samples!!?? HELP ME! I think I have a paint addiction!! I have fallen prey to this seduction more than one time! In my house we have “Lemonade Slush”, “Retro Green”, “Charisma”, & “Honesty”…. HONESTLY!  The fall weather and pumpkin spice coffee is what entranced me to do this! I knew it was dangerous but I’m a “live on the edge” kind of girl with color, so in an impulsive whim I bought it. Naturally, I figured the universe was pulling me in this direction, what other options did I have?  If nothing else I will have created a  “conversation piece” (as if I need that).   It’s really nothing special now, I reasoned, so pretty much anything I do to it is an improvement… right!??

 Monday after I sanded & primed the trunk  I was starting to have some serious doubts (don’t tell my husband: the “orange hater” I have remained confident to him on my color choice through the entire metamorphosis).  Here are the first strokes of the beloved “Roasted Squash”…

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Then after another coat it was starting to look okay.  If it hadn’t stormed all night last night it would have been more “okay”.  Here is what it looks like today, paint moistened & wet spots.

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The photos aren’t that great.  I’ m not thrilled at how the  leather strips stop abruptly on top (where it used to connect to buckles on the bottom).  I like the contrast of the brown squares though.

The kids are napping now, so I’m off to “distress” it for a rugged/ antique look which I’m hoping will bring it all together.  If not, this may turn into my next DIY project where I strip it down again & come to a more reasonable color. Crossing my fingers… it’s not finished, or in the den yet.  It may turn out perfect! Let’s not pretend it’s going to bring the ambiance of a roasted squash though… more like an orange sherbet.

October 31, 2013, Halloween.

This strange “holiday”, that my family didn’t celebrated growing up & were mistaken for Jehovah Witnesses because of it. My parents made up for it as well as they could for not allowing us to participate in what would  have likely been the most insanely awesome night of the year! Or so I thought, (because of my obsession with candy).  We went to something at our church called “Harvest Fest” and it was sufficient enough at the time.  In the quaint little town of Roselawn I’m sure the memories of Halloween, had we gone out, would have been as sweet as the candy given.  Overall though, I didn’t mind. The simple explanation was that the other holidays were are reason to give God praise & this one wasn’t, and honestly that was enough for me.   The first time I walked around town & went door to door I was twenty-eight assisting a teen  mom (from Father’s Love) and her baby. In a bigger town with more crime it felt eerie, the way I imagined Halloween would feel in the dark, knocking on strange doors.  People passing, not seeing faces, getting hit by an egg in a drive by….I really was a scaredy cat, a true victim of Halloween.  It didn’t spark an interest in me to get involved on the 31st night of October any more than I had in times past, (although still bewitched with the candy) I was too old to dip into the candy jar.  Speaking of being too old what’s up with the teen bums costumed in ripped jeans & a mask that knock on my door on this particular night? Before I encounter these hallow teens I prepare in advance what I might say to one obviously over the age of treating, perhaps something along the lines of: “Seems you’re getting a little old for this eh? Scram!”  What else could I tactfully say to turn down a devilish adolescent boy assuring my house wouldn’t later get egged? On second though maybe I shouldn’t trouble the waters, (after all who wants to be the Grinch of Halloween?)

And that paragraph alone was the whole sum of my thoughts and interest, or lack thereof, in Halloween…until I had kids.  Sheesh, having children truly does make you look at the entire world differently (and all the other cliché’s you hear parents say).  Things I never thought of thinking, I think & re-think & think again, and then one more time, because it’s all different in my head (& heart) now that the loves of my life are walking around the earth with their adorable little feet.  Yet in attempt not to break my brain over the matter I simply concluded, “Na, we’ll just skip it”. The holiday seemed too foreign to me & since the hubs didn’t mind either way celebrating now was pointless, I thought… UNTIL I received two matching ridiculously adorable Thumper (yes THUMPER) costumes in the mail from my sister in law. The day we opened the box from PA my oldest son (who is not yet two) was a little bunny all day.  I couldn’t laugh or take enough pictures.  I guess the verdict was in that we were going to HAVE to celebrate Halloween, at least this year!  How could I not get good use of these darling outfits that made my kids look like walking stuffed animals (or more accurately one walking, one being held)? So with that we went out and enjoyed the evening, stopping in on friends, and showing off our baby doll bunnies while collecting some sweet candy & memories to take at home with us tonight.

How about you? Did you have a “Hoppy Halloween??”

Couldn’t resist.

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